A bombshell report out of the NBA on Tuesday has some massive implications for the Philadelphia 76ers.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) August 31, 2021
Given Simmons’ recent history with the 76ers organization, this news shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
After putting up an abysmal postseason performance in this year’s playoffs, Simmons has taken unrelenting heat from the Philadelphia fanbase. During a meeting with Daryl Morey and the Sixers’ front office after the team’s postseason exit, the former No. 1 draft pick and his agent, Rich Paul, floated the idea of a potential trade this offseason.
Since then, Morey and the Sixers have explored several trade options. But with each of those opportunities, they’ve asked for some absurdly steep returns.
Now, it seems Simmons will take matters into his own hands to force a trade.
The NBA world took to Twitter on Tuesday to react to this news.
Knowing GM Daryl Morey won’t cave for a deal he doesn’t like like, I get the feeling this is about to get ugly in Philadelphia between Ben Simmons and the Sixers’ front office. https://t.co/0KcRCetbiq
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) August 31, 2021
The Sixers dug a hole so deep they’re finding it hard to climb out of it. https://t.co/bUceiwhPx3
— alder almo (@alderalmo) August 31, 2021
And you thought October 19 was NBA opening day… https://t.co/HTdNRC3UhX
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) August 31, 2021
who could have seen this coming besides everyone https://t.co/GC13QmOVdO
— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) August 31, 2021
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 31, 2021
If you could bet on one team for Ben Simmons to play for next season, who would it be? https://t.co/ta03OHFEQQ
— NBABet (@nbabet) August 31, 2021
This has reached the seemingly inevitable point where it’s probably no longer viable for the Sixers to wait until someone meets their steep asking price or until another star demands out https://t.co/PtxSGUrksL
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) August 31, 2021
BREAKING NEWS: WE DON’T WANT YOU TO BE A SIXER https://t.co/KUmo5kge95
— Erin Kate Dolan (@erinkatedolan) August 31, 2021
The Sixers can fine Simmons if he does in fact refuse to show at training camp. But according to one source, the three-time All Star, who has four years and $147 million remaining on his current deal, isn’t concerned about monetary loss.
While in any other circumstance it would make sense to fine Simmons, his current agent situation could make that decision more difficult, per Pompey. Rich Paul, owner of Klutch Sports, currently represents multiple NBA stars and future potential targets for the Sixers’ organization. The decision to fine Paul’s client could result in a strained relationship that would jeopardize future opportunities.
Simmons has certainly struggled on the court as of late, but that doesn’t mean several NBA teams won’t be interested in acquiring him.
The pressure is now on Morey to put together more reasonable trade deals that prospective teams will be willing to accept.